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Why Does Powder Coating Require Surface Prep?

Powder Coating by Frank T. Surface Prep

Surface prep is the foundation for a perfect powder coat every time.

If you are looking to color, customize, or restore metal items, you might be considering powder coating—but why is all of that prep necessary? You might be worried that your item is at risk, especially if it’s a vintage piece. You might also be concerned that prep work is just an extra cost the shop is trying to slip onto your bill when it’s not totally necessary. Prep work is the foundation of a good powder coating. Without it, powder coating isn’t possible.


The most common prep procedure for powder coating is sandblasting. Sandblasting is a process where tiny abrasive particles are used to prime the surface of the metal by removing old paint, rust, and other impurities. This is a critical step for making sure the metal piece is clean and ready to be powder coated. Powder coating is not the same as painting, so having a well-cleaned piece is imperative for success. In addition, sandblasting is better for the environment than other stripping methods, and more economical. This makes it a clear winner for powder coating prep in most cases.


The reason your metal piece needs to be free and clear of impurities is that powder coating is an electrostatically charged layer of color (though it can also be clear) that is adhered to the metal. The thermoset powder is then heated which causes the chemical reaction to take place that creates the beautiful and durable powder coating finish. If there is rust, paint, or oil on the metal, they will interfere with the adhesion of the powder, creating weak points in the finished powder coating. Ensuring perfect, uniform adhesion will greatly improve the longevity and durability of the finished product.

More Than Paint

When you paint something, you typically apply a layer of primer for better adhesion. Powder coating surface prep works in a similar way but almost in reverse. For paint, you add a layer for the paint to stick to. For powder coating, extra layers need to be removed so the powder coating can be applied directly to the metal for the best result. Paint simply covers the surface, but powder coating adheres to it and reinforces it to bring the piece a beautiful finish that has superior durability and longevity. That’s why the prep work for power coating—such as sandblasting—is a critical component of a successful result.

Contact Frank T. today to learn more about the powder coating process!

If you have more questions, Frank is ready to answer them! With over a decade of experience in the coating industry, Frank knows what it takes to create a lasting finish. He’s known across the country, and his impressive work has been featured on the Discovery Channel. When you ask for a professional in powder coating, you’ll probably be directed to Frank’s workshop. Whether you’re in Rockville, MD, or outside of the Maryland area, Frank can help! Give him a call or text at 301-798-9952 and get started on coating your project.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 27th, 2022 at 1:07 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.